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Webers.Home

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#41
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Rom 13:12 . . Put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of
light.

Among the first things that God created for the cosmos was light (Gen 1:3).
He didn't have to create darkness because darkness per Gen 1:2 is just
simply the default condition in the absence of light.

At that time, God made a distinct difference between light and darkness
(Gen 1:4). I think it is very notable that God labeled the light "good" but He
didn't label the darkness good.

I believe Gen 1:4 set the stage; in other words: from that point on in the
Bible, darkness typically represents something harmful and/or distasteful;
while light always represents something tasteful and/or beneficial. So then
we could label the deeds of darkness as deeds unbecoming Christ's
followers, and we could label the armor of light as deeds befitting his
followers. In other words: deeds befitting Christ's followers are their first line
of defense in a world gone mad with evil.

"Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he
must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against
those who do evil." (1Pet 3:10-12)
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Webers.Home

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#42
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Rom 13:13 . . Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and
drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and
envy.

"in the day" could be construed to mean "in that day" which would indicate
life and society as it will be in the kingdom God. Well; needless to say,
people then won't be acting like they do now, so maybe we should start
preparing for that day by putting these instructions into enough practice to
make them become a habit.

The Greek word for "envy" is somewhat ambiguous. It includes-- along with
envy --jealousy, indignation, and outrage.

The Greek word for "strife" is somewhat ambiguous too. It includes-- along
with strife --quarrelling, wrangling, contention, debate, and a whole other
bunch of ugly stuff associated with variance.

"in the day" probably refers to daytime when the sun is up as opposed to
nighttime when the sun is down; which is usually when people are out
partying, drinking, and picking each other up for one night stands.

Though strife and envy can be seen during both day or night, they're listed
as nighttime behavior due to their being shameful.

NOTE: What I find interesting about Christ's commandments is that his
followers have to be instructed how to properly conduct themselves; viz: it's
never assumed they can be trusted to instinctively and/or intuitively know
how.
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Webers.Home

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#43
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Rom 13:14 . . .Clothe yourselves with The Lord Jesus Christ

Clothing one's self with a personage was a colloquialism many years ago
which would correspond in our day to "emulation" which Webster's defines
as trying to be like someone or something you admire.

They say that imitation is the highest flattery. Well; if you'd like to flatter
The Lord; adopt his integrity, his principles and his core values. But don't
guess at them; learn them, from someone that the Lord has empowered to
teach for him as per Eph 4:11-15.
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Webers.Home

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#44
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Rom 14:1 . . Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on
disputable matters.

A strong faith consists of the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance,
and conviction. A weak faith can be defined as vacillating; viz: one that's not
all that sure whether something is wrong for a Christian; or even that
something is right; in other words, a weak faith lacks the elements of
knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction.

Disputable matters are matters of opinion rather than matters of fact.
Opinions are often subjective, biased, and arbitrary, rather than objective,
unbiased, and by-the book. Opinions inevitably invite perpetual debating
that never really gets to the bottom of anything; which, in matters of
spiritual significance is strictly forbidden within the context of the 14th
chapter of Romans; because debatable matters are not matters of doctrine;
but rather; matters of conscience.

We're not talking about black and white doctrines and principles here. Those
are not open to debate. We're talking about gray areas.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" is black and white; while issues like video
games, music, fashions, foods, cosmetics, movies, self defense, gambling,
swim suits, political activism, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, fasting, religious
art, crucifixes, couture, and holy days of obligation are debatable. In regards
to those areas; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind rather than
somebody else's mind.

Those are things about which each has to decide for themselves according to
the dictates of their own conscience; and God forbid they should impose
their personal dictates upon others and thus become dictatorial because
that's playing God and usurping Christ's sovereign prerogative to make the
rules for his own church.
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Webers.Home

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#45
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Rom 14:2-4 . . One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another
man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats
everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does
not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has
accepted him.

If somebody sincerely believes that fast food, GMO, high fructose corn
syrup, non organic produce, processed foods, grain-fed beef, raw oysters,
sushi, and/or anything fried in lard is sinful; well; more power to them; but
God forbid they should condemn others who disagree.

So then; whether or not to eat grass-fed beef or grain-fed beef is your call;
although in my judicious estimation; you run a much higher risk of
contracting E.coli 0157-H7 by eating grain-fed beef. But the choice to run
that risk is yours alone; not mine. The important point to note is that either
way, God will accept one's diet just so long as they are convinced in their
own mind it's not a sinful diet. And God forbid that we should undertake to
pressure someone via debating and sophistry to violate their conscience.
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Webers.Home

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#46
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Rom 14:5 . . One man considers one day more sacred than another;
another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced
in his own mind.

Common Christian holy days are The Lord's Day (Sunday), Solemnity of
Mary the Mother of God, the Epiphany, Solemnity of Saint Joseph Husband
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ascension Trinity Sunday, Solemnity of
Saints Peter and Paul, Good Friday, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
Mary, All Saints, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas), and the
Sabbath. Some would probably include Easter and Ash Wednesday, et al.

If your denomination, or your church of choice, rules that days like the
above are sacred, then for you they are. Whether God himself really and
truly rules them as sacred is irrelevant. What matters is whether you are
convinced He does because the focus of the 14th of Romans is upon matters
of conscience rather than matters of fact.

NOTE: The Jehovah's Witnesses' personal opinions about birthdays, holidays,
and holy days are protected by the 14th chapter of Romans; and forbids
debating with them about it.
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Webers.Home

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#47
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Rom 14:13a . .Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, "passing judgment" pertains to
criticizing others for refusal to accept and/or comply with your own personal
gray-area beliefs and practices.
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Webers.Home

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#48
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Rom 14:13b . . Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or
obstacle in your brother's way.

The Greek word translated "stumbling block" means a stub. For example:
one year I cut down a troublesome bush in my front yard and left a bit of a
stump sticking up out of the ground that later damaged my lawn mower
when I accidentally ran over it while cutting the grass; which had grown tall
enough to conceal the stump. In that respect, stumbling blocks are hazards
not easily detected.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, I would equate stumbling blocks
to the clever sophistry that silver-tongued Bible thumpers employ to
persuade people to do things contrary to their convictions and their
conscience. Should you get pulled into a debate with one of those thumpers
you'll be frustrated because no matter how skillfully defended your position,
they will continue to oppose it; so the best track is: decline to argue.
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Webers.Home

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#49
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Rom 14:14-16 . . I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of The
Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone
believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another Christian
is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't
let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be
condemned for doing something you know is alright.

For example: We may believe that there is nothing wrong with eating freaky,
barbarian foods; but our Christian dinner companion might feel very strongly
about it. Well; sure, we can get by with eating freaky, barbarian foods; but
Rom 14:14-16 is saying don't. In other words; it is Christ's wishes that we
restrain ourselves from eating distasteful stuff in front of our Christian
companions in thoughtful and sympathetic regard for their personal
sensibilities, i.e. as a courtesy.

I'm pretty sure this principle isn't restricted to diet, but can be applied to
any debatable issue with the potential to drive an unnecessary wedge
between ourselves and other Christians. For example; if you have friends
over for an evening of entertainment, and know they're uncomfortable with
movies saturated with crime, cruelty, obscenity, vulgarity, deviance,
indecency, and violence; then accommodate their feelings by selecting
something a bit more tolerable for them.
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Webers.Home

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#50
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Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace
and to mutual edification.

The Greek word for "edification" is oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which is a
word related to the building trades; and in this instance would be related to
structural improvements like a new wing, or a bedroom, or another floor;
and in many instances adds square footage to an already-existing structure
and/or improves its appearance, its value, and it's utility. Edification then, is
just the opposite of demolition, i.e. it builds up instead of tearing down.

Webster's defines "peace" as a state in which there is no war or fighting; viz:
harmony and mutual concord. In other words: there are times when it's
appropriate to accommodate people's feelings about certain things for the
sake of us all getting along together.

NOTE: An important element in the practice of love is deference; which, in a
nutshell, implies regarding the wishes of others as trumping yours; viz:
subordination. (Eph 5:21)
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Webers.Home

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#51
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Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All
food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone
else to stumble.

We would think that the work of God is indestructible; but not so. People
have been destroying the Earth and themselves-- the work of His hands -
for an untold number of centuries and millennia: (Gen 1:1)

The critters that God lists in the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon
with God, on oath, per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy as
unsuitable for unfit for human consumption aren't intrinsically unsuitable.
They're only designated unsuitable for the Jews because that's how God
wants it for a particular people. But outside the covenant, for everybody
else, whatever you'd like to eat can be eaten; all flora and all fauna; and
that dates all the way back to the Flood.

"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the
green plants, I now give you everything." (Gen 9:3)

"The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything impure that
God has made clean." (Acts 10:15)

But still; we wouldn't want to invite someone over for dinner serving foods
that they sincerely believe are wrong for them to eat; and thus lead them to
contradict their own personal convictions about what's right and what's
wrong for Christians. Prepare something else that you both can eat without
feeling guilty. That's the Christian way to go about it; it's also the
sympathetic way to go about it.
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Webers.Home

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#52
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Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas
keep between yourself and God.

The old adage "Let sleeping dogs lie." certainly applies to this requirement in
regard to questionable beliefs and practices.
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Webers.Home

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#53
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Rom 14:22b. . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what
he approves.

The Greek word translated "blessed" means fortunate and/or well off, i.e.
one's situation and/or circumstances. The opposite of that would be like
deprived and/or missing out on something worth having.

Rom 14:23 . . But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats,
because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from
faith is sin.

Where there's doubt; it's possible to be wrong even when you're right
because it's a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay
to do so.

I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a Block Buster
video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's your
own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians
can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while
others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should
perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that
determines where to eat.

In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your
freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow
Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable.
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Webers.Home

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#54
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Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference, but
we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be
considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are
wrong.

Webster's defines "considerate" as thoughtful of the rights and feelings of
others, i.e. deferent, gallant, chivalrous, sensitive, yielding, and diplomatic.

NOTE: The subject of "yielding" is currently very relevant; especially in this
day and age when certain elements of American society are perpetually
clamoring for so-called equal rights in matters relative to wealth, race,
gender, and sexual preference.

Consideration is almost a dirty word among strong-willed, bossy Christians
who perpetually insist upon having everything their own way; even in trivial
issues that, in the grand scheme of things, mean nothing at all. But these
folk are militant; every disagreement is an act of war to be won at any cost;
even to the destruction of the dignity and self respect of their fellow
Christians for whom the Lord gave his life.
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Webers.Home

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#55
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Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in
order to bring praise to God.

That's a bit tricky but I think it just means all Christians should acknowledge
each other as Christians, and treat one another as Christians though they
may differ in opinion about what constitutes a real Christian.

For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real
Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a
string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin
tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have
a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and
Sunday school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where
there's topless female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a
pole while leering men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little
costumes.

Too many Christians are bigots; they have the opinion that unless others
believe and practice the very same way they believe and practice, then
those others are not Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to
follow Webster's definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes
a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no
qualifiers. They don't even have to practice The Lord's teachings; they only
have to profess to believe in them.

An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to
qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a
Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only
had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all
followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling,
name calling, and bad feelings.

NOTE: Heresy is oftentimes subjective. In other words: what's heresy to a
Catholic may not be heresy to a Methodist, and vice versa. And what's
heresy to a Mormon may not be heresy to a Jehovah's Witness, and vice
versa. And what's heresy to a Baptist may not be heresy to the Church Of
God, and vice versa. So my advice is: never, ever call another Christian a
heretic.

Just to be on the safe side; edit that label from your remarks because it just
might be that you yourself are the one infected with heresy and don't know
it; viz: be circumspect with your choice of words because the hapless day
just may arrive when you are forced to eat them.

It ain't what you know that gets you into trouble.
It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
Mark Twain
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Webers.Home

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#56
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Rom 15:27 . . For if the Gentiles have shared in the Israelite's spiritual
blessings, they owe it to the Israelites to share with them their material
blessings.

Within the context of Rom 15:25-27, the Israelites to whom Paul refers are
not those who believe and practice Judaism; but those who believe and
practice Christianity. It is unbecoming for Christians to support religions that
undermine Christ; especially when it's taken into consideration that 1Cor
16:22 requires Christ's followers to regard the followers of religions opposed
to his as cursed, i.e. not in harmony with God.

NOTE: The Jews' original beliefs and practices were strictly biblical. By the
time of Jesus' day, their religion had become rabbinical, i.e. defined by the
Talmud; which incorporates the Bible but isn't strictly limited to it.
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Webers.Home

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#57
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Rom 16:17-18 . . I urge you, brothers, beware of those who cause
divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you
have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our
Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they
deceive the minds of naïve people.

Naïve folk can be characterized as credulous, i.e. easily convinced by slight
or uncertain evidence, viz: non critical thinkers.

NOTE: Christianity isn't a democracy. It's a theocracy. The Greek word
translated lord and/or master in Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, 2Tim 2:21, 2Pet
2:1, and Rev 6:10 is despotes (des-pot'-ace) from which we get our English
word despot; defined by Webster's as a ruler with absolute power and
authority.

"smooth talk" is the practice of sophistry; defined as a reason or an
argument that sounds correct but at its core is actually false; viz: subtly
deceptive reasoning or argumentation. Sophistry is typically rational,
reasonable, and sensible; but the thing to keep in mind is that faith believes
what's revealed to it rather than only what makes sense to it.

According to Eph 4:11-14 the very reason that Christ endows some of his
followers to speak for him is so that the rest of his followers may have
access to true premises upon which to build their faith and thus achieve the
unity for which he prayed. (John 17:20-21)
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Webers.Home

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#58
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1Cor 1:10 . . I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no
divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and
thought.

Official belief systems-- e.g. the Nicene Creed and/or proprietary church
covenants and statements of faith --are very effective for achieving the unity
required by 1Cor 1:10; and should always be imposed upon new people
applying for membership in a local congregation. A church composed of a
variety of beliefs and practices isn't a unified church: it's a forum.

NOTE: I would have to say that after belief in God and His son, then next
thing that church members need to believe in is each other; and if they can't
believe in each other, then I really think they ought to disband. I'm not
kidding around about this; without trust and loyalty a church is just as
dysfunctional as any other maladjusted family.
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Webers.Home

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#59
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1Cor 1:26-31 . . Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you
were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you.
Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to
shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are
powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by
the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to
nothing what the world considers important, so that no one can ever boast
in the presence of God.

. . . God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit
God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable
to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our
freedom. As the Scriptures say: The person who wishes to boast should
boast only of what The Lord has done.

Some of us tend to think ourselves pretty smart for having enough good
sense to believe the gospel. But according to the passage above, we didn't
become believers due to our IQ; were that the case, then Carl Sagan
would've stood on the side of intelligent design instead of opposing it.

No; the credit is due to God's IQ, i.e. God alone was smart enough to make
it possible for any of us to be in Christ Jesus. Personally, I look upon that as
something not for me to boast about, rather; an incredible stroke of luck.
(One of the meanings of "blessed" is fortunate.)

Boasting in what the Lord has done is sort of like the pride that sports fans
feel for their favorite teams; especially when they win. Well; it goes without
saying that God is a winner-- maybe He's not accounted a winner by the
world's best and brightest, but certainly by those of us very pleased that
Christ's mission succeeded.
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Webers.Home

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#60
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1Cor 3:9-15 . .We are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's
building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise
master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let
each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation
other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

. . . Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious
stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day
will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test
the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it
remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall
suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

It's easy mistake the judgment spoken of in that passage for the judgment
spoken of in Rev 20:11-15. But there are crucial differences worth noting.

1» The fire spoken of at 1Cor 3:5-15 burns works. The fire spoken of at Rev
20:11-15 burns people.

2» People walk away alive from the fire spoken of at 1Cor 3:5-15. Nobody
walks away alive from the fire spoken of at Rev 20:11-15.

3» People are awarded at the judgment spoken of at 1Cor 3:5-15. People
are punished at the judgment spoken of at Rev 20:11-15.

It's extremely important to note that only the Christian worker's works are
tested with fire; not the worker himself. Compare this to the great white
throne event depicted at Rev 20:11-15 where the dead's works are not
tested; but rather, their works are introduced as evidence in the
prosecution's case against them. The Christian worker's works aren't
evaluated as evidence against them, but as potential credit to justify giving
them a performance award.

Another extremely important thing to note is that the Christian worker's
substandard works are burned up rather than burned off.

"let each man be careful how he builds upon it" indicates that Christians
need to keep in mind that Jesus' saved followers are on track to undergo
Christ's scrutiny one at a time, i.e. on an individual basis; and in regard to
how well and/or how poorly they put their spiritual gift to work building
and/or not building upon his foundation.
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